Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Is your website still working hard for you?

Recently I was channel surfing and stumbled upon an infomercial for a rotisserie style chicken cooker just in time to hear the audience cheerfully shouting out the catchy tag line – “Just set it and forget it."

It reminded me that while that approach might work for chickens, not so much for websites!

I am often surprised by how many small businesses shortchange their marketing efforts by taking a “set it and forget it” attitude when it comes to their very own “innovative, time saving” marketing device--their very own website.

These days a corporate website is a fairly standard item in your marketing toolbox and for many it is at the core of their company’s online  presence.

With that in mind why would anyone be surprised to learn that, unlike rotisserie ovens, you can’t simply build it and ‘forget it’.

Building a company website is a costly process, it usually takes a lot of time and manpower. This means your corporate website is much more than just a great marketing tool, it is also a significant financial investment and needs to be treated as such!

Regular maintenance, upgrades and content reviews are critical to ensure that your website continues to work hard for your company.

Here are a few suggestions to help you check in on your company website and ensure it is still working at peak capacity for your business.

  • Is your website more than 2-3 years old? If it is it is then it probably contains some outdated html or other outdated code. That needs to be updated or revised.
  • Is it Flash Based? Sure it looks cool but if your current site uses flash - .fla or .swf file that means that no Apple devices can read your site and given the crazy popularity of the iPhone and iPad, your site may be ignoring a significant chunk of your audience. 
  • Is your site trying to hard? Websites are no longer expected to provide every piece of information about your company, your business, your product and your people. Today your site should be focused on key business goals, and provide information accordingly. Ask yourself, why does our company have a website? What is the single most important thing it should do? Now take a look at your site and see if it does that, if not it is time to rethink things!
  • Does your site have spelling mistakes and broken links? Your website is an extension of you and your company and credibility is crucial even the best-designed site in the world won’t sell if your customers don’t believe in your professionalism and expertise. How can you turn visitors into customers if your site is full of errors and links to nowhere?
  • Does your website still match your corporate brand? Your website is one of the most public examples of your brand and brand consistency is extremely important in the online environment. You are building your company’s brand so don’t confuse your consumers with inconsistent font styles, colors or old logos. Your website should reflect your most recent style guide and branding and logo development. 
  • Does anybody hear you? Has anyone engaged with your site in the last month? In the last 6-months? Has anyone left a comment or filled out a form? Is there a simple way for website viewers to connect with you? If the answer is no it is time to revisit your website. Interaction is critical online, your site should be user friendly allowing easy sharing of your web content through some of the most popular Social Media Platforms? Have you built in quick, simple to find links to your own SM sites and are you using SM to drive traffic back to your website?
  • Is your site mobile friendly? How does your website look and operate on an smart phone, on a tablet? Mobile use is on the rise and if your site is not optimized to be responsive to mobile devices it is only doing half the job, half of the timeDoes your website use GPS coordinates to allow mobile users access to directions and maps to locate your business? 

Give your website new life with a redesign by Francomedia. We create functional inviting websites that support your business and engage your customers. If you would like to review your current site or talk to us about a the development of a new site - you can reach us online at www.francomedia.com or connect via email

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